Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan

Matt Perez has been in the technology industry for a very long time, working in both small and large companies.  Almost 10 years ago he co-founded Nearsoft with partner Roberto Martinez. Nearsoft helps their software development company clients grow development teams with engineers in Mexico. Clients can then reap the benefits of a team that speaks the same language and works in the same time zone. Currently, Nearsoft has around 200 employees and 3 offices in Mexico. Even more unique than their strong presence in Mexico is the fact that there are no managers or titles at Nearsoft… it is completely self-managed!

According to Matt when people start working at Nearsoft it takes them a while to really believe that they don’t have a boss. They have an onboarding process that is currently being expanded from 2 to 6 weeks to help deal with that. The process highlights how to work with clients and communicate within the organization. New hires are assigned a mentor for any questions they may have. Everything, such as philosophy and values, is written so employees have context and know the appropriate things to do. It isn’t so detailed as step by step instructions but includes the necessary materials for employees to accomplish their goals.

Nearsoft also encourages leadership teams as part of a decision matrix that spells out the types of decisions that are made around the company. Anyone can start a leadership team on any topic, from trivial to profound. Others can choose to sign up, and the only rules are to keep minutes and post them for transparency. Even if a decision is made that Matt and Roberto don’t agree with, they will do what the employees feel is in their best interest. Without a manager, employees remain accountable for their own work by using OKRs, or objective key results. They define personal and work-related goals that they want to accomplish for the quarter. Nearsoft has a very well defined governance framework. So employees should explore what they are doing to contribute to the company’s vision and purpose for the next 5 years.


What you will learn in this episode:


  • What it’s like to work at Nearsoft
  • What self management is really like
  • The concept of how to treat people like an adult
  • Ownership by decision making
  • Workplace flexibility
  • Holacracy
  • Pros and cons of this type of organizational structure

Link From The Episode:

(Music by Ronald Jenkees)

Direct download: Matt20M20Perez20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:44pm PDT

Lindsay McGregor is the co-founder and CEO at Vega Factor, a company that helps organizations build high-performing, adaptive cultures. She is also the co-author of a New York Times Best Seller, Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation. Lindsay received her B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard, and has worked with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and universities. She started her career working in strategy and found that one question often popped up.. "Do we have the culture to pull off the strategy?" Many companies would chose small, incremental improvements in their culture. She found that it was difficult to convince companies that big culture changes could really impact their performance and bottom line.

Lindsay teamed up with Neel Doshi to research what is a great culture. They tested dozens of theories through research around the world, from 50 major companies and 20,000 people. They found that one truly predicted performance and that is total motivation. Total motivation, or ToMo, is the simple theory that why people work determines how well they work. There are six reasons why people work - three lead to higher performance and three lead to lower performance. They range from play, which is working because you love the work itself, to inertia, which is showing up today simply because you showed up yesterday. Many factors influence an employee's ToMo score like performance reviews, pay, and design.
Organizations can measure employees' individual ToMo scores and then use them to measure the organization's ToMo score as a whole. Not many companies have a high ToMo score... most are pretty low. A common misconception that can fuel this is that leaders have to be tough dictators to get high performance. However, happy employees and high performing organizations are not competing things. Investing in one leads to the other. Organizations should create a balance of play, purpose, and potential to combat low performance and increase their bottom line!
Things you will learn in this episode:
  • Total motivation, or ToMo
  • The six reasons why people work
  • The two types of performance
  • Cobra effect
  • How annual performance reviews affect ToMo
  • Blame bias
  • Fluid vs. frozen organizations
Links From The Episode:
(Music by Ronald Jenkees)
Direct download: Lindsay20McGregor20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:14pm PDT

The way that cities evolve impacts our lives, personally and professionally. Jonathan Reichental works as the Chief Information Officer for the city of Palo Alto, reinventing sectors of the government that are struggling. Cities need a CIO because technology is the center of operations and almost all projects have a technical aspect. Not every city currently has a CIO but we are seeing the shift and demand to take IT to the center of delivering better services to citizens.

Jonathan's office is in the city hall of Palo Alto. They built a civic tech center that looks like a start up, offering on-site training and team building. His team consists of 32 full time staff, plus temporary staff related to different companies like contractors and employees from vendors. Relative to cities of its size, Palo Alto has a large IT group. The city delivers all of its own utilities which generates half of its revenue. The population of less than 100,000 people doubles during the day with workers and students commuting in. The area has a huge appetite for technology!
Jonathan is in a position to really observe and influence The City of the Future. So what does that look like? If the current trend continues, the vast major majority of the future will be in an urban setting instead of rural. Cities aren't currently ready for that. Our commutes are horrendous and we have crumbling infrastructures. The climate change and its effects need to be addressed. Our energy systems need to advance. Cities are typically inefficient and each part doesn't communicate. Many sectors of city government need new innovation and ideas. The Internet of Things will make the City of the Future possible... we can connect traffic signals to software for maximum efficiency and better traffic flow. We will be able to do the dreaded activities like renewing a driver's license and acquiring permits on a phone or computer, instead of spending the whole day at a government office. The parts of our daily lives that are still trapped in the past will catch up to the present. The software to facilitate The City of the Future exists, we just have to take a risk!
What you will learn in this episode:
Technology and people components of The City of the Future
Big data
Community versus Organization involvement
Sustainability and going green
Smart cities
Link From The Episode:
(Music by Ronald Jenkees)
Direct download: Jonathan20Reichental20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:48pm PDT

Mark Curtis started his career in the marketing and digital field, and is now the co-founder and Chief Client Officer at Fjord. Fjord is the design and innovation part of Accenture Interactive that employs 750 people in 18 cities... mainly designers spread across the world! The company is growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for service design and the delivery of end design digital products. Mark and his team are responsible for inventing services and laying out the design.

Fjord's recent report, The Era of Living Services, describes how data analytics will be combined with the Internet of Things to create services that come to life! It is based on the thought that we are currently experiencing the third era of digital that adds complexity on top of the previous eras - desktop web and smart phones. These services are described as living because they will change in real time, be all around us, and effect our lives in really profound ways. The Era of Living Services will be very impactful at work, at home, and in our education, health, and shopping! This will introduce a whole new level of individualized digital experiences. 
The Era of Living Services has arrived due to several trends. For one, the price point is at the right place. Technology is becoming more affordable than ever. Also, the expectations of consumers are raised. Millennials in the workforce have a completely different attitude to this kind of progress. They accept and encourage it. And technology, such as AI and robotics, is advancing at an exponential rate that will fuel the Era of Living Services!


Things you will learn in this episode:
What is living service?
Concepts of liquid experiences
Why living services are starting to happen
How this impacts how we work and live
What this means for privacy, security, and ethics
Challenges this will create
How liquid consumer expectations spill over into workplace
Employee experience
Links From The Episode:
(Music by Ronald Jenkees)
Direct download: Mark20Curtis20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:02pm PDT

Marco Annuziata is the Chief Economist and Executive Director of Global Market Insights at General Electric. He is relatively new in the company, only having been there for 5 years in a newly created position. Marco is tasked with studying what is happening around the world and how it will affect employment, economies, and growth. He looks at the long term geopolitical, economic, social, and technological trends, then maps that to the risks and opportunities for GE's different businesses around the world. 

GE uses the Global Innovation Barometer to learn how people feel about innovation. It is a survey of business executives and the informed public across 26 countries that identifies the implications, obstacles, advantages of innovation. Marco's team uses the barometer to get a sense of what is happening globally and in each country. One of the key findings is surprising... people are generally optimistic about the 4th industrial revolution's affect on economic growth and living standards.
Marco's team essentially tries to predict the future based on the data from the Global Innovation Barometer. They build their own forecasts of growths, investment outlooks, and more. They can then bring insights to management and the rest of GE. It is a very demanding and fallible process, but extremely fascinating!
What you will learn in this episode:
What is the Global Innovation Barometer
Key findings of the Barometer
Marco's outlook for the U.S. economy
4th Industrial Revolution
Startup mentality
Talent acquisition
Links From The Episode:
(Music by Ronald Jenkees)
Direct download: Marco20Annunziata20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44pm PDT